If you work at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, don’t be surprised if you get invited to a baby shower or two this summer.
Ten employees at the Dover, N.H., hospital are expecting at the hospital. Eleven women were pregnant before one gave birth this month.
“We started with the joke that something was in the water,” said Alexa Hayes, 32, a certified registered nurse anesthetist who is due to give birth in September.
The group, which includes registered nurses, nurse anesthetists, surgical technologists, anesthesia technicians, and nurse practitioners, jokingly calls themselves the preglets.
“[The name] kind of just stuck,” Hayes said in a phone interview. “There’s so many of us that you can’t even walk down the hall without seeing somebody that’s pregnant.”
It’s not the first time a hospital has seen a surge in pregnant staff — in 2019, 14 nurses on the oncology floor of Massachusetts General Hospital were expecting at the same time. That same year, nine nurses in the labor and delivery department at Maine Medical Center were pregnant, and nine nurses working in maternal services at Beverly Hospital gave birth to baby boys in the span of seven months.
Hayes said she had heard of such coincidences but never anticipated being part of one. It was gradual at first, but before long, one pregnancy announcement led to another.
“Once we started realizing that there were a lot of us that were pregnant, we were like, ‘What’s your due date? What’s your due date?’” Hayes said.
The pregnancies have created a sense of community among the women, Hayes said. Of the 10 nurses, seven will be first-time mothers. Hayes is expecting her second child.
“Personally, I feel almost like a mother hen of all the moms, trying to give my two cents whether they want it or not,” Hayes said with a laugh.
The next nurse is due in June. After her, one is due in July, three are due in August, three in September, and two in October. The hospital is not expecting any staffing shortages, officials said.
“I think it’s definitely bonded our department in a way that’s unique,” Hayes said. “This has been a really nice layer of community throughout all of our different jobs.”
Hayes, like many of the other nurses, will be giving birth at Wentworth-Douglass.
“It’s so wonderful to work here and just want to give a shout-out to all these women,” she said. “We’re excited to welcome new life into the world as well as into the Wentworth-Douglass family.”